I am looking to buy a few cables and of course mixed in the results I notice a few Monster brand cables priced 4x-10x higher than everything else and I can’t help but admire the giant swinging balls of this company.
I mean, I get that sometimes people will pay more for what they think of as a “quality” brand if it fits in with their self-image. Although it’s vain, I can sort of understand this with cars, clothes, etc… but a friggin’ cable? Something that is going to spend its entire life coiled up in a corner behind your computer or TV somewhere? People actually pay $150 for one of those when they can get the same exact thing for $15 from Target? Do they really think they are getting a more quality product somehow?
Like a lot of companies, they prey on the ignorance of consumers. I’ve talked at least six people out of buying their absurdly overpriced products. Then again there are people who just like paying more. One co-worker I had to go through great lengths to discourage him. Even after I showed him the testing Gizmodo did on HD cables a while back, he insisted on getting monster rip off.
Ignorance, as mentioned, is an easy tool to use against its bearer. As long as you throw enough technical-sounding bullshit at them, they’ll say, “Oh, well then, it must be good, because the other cables don’t have that.”
Pride and Jonesism. Those who partake of the high end markets of anything like to be able to brag that they have expensive cables because they just look and/or sound better than the competition. The cables might indeed have more expensive components, like gold filaments or titanium plugs or adamantium flashing or other such crap, but even if they make a difference, they’re probably so small that only the most anally retentive whatever-phile would give a damn, even though they can’t tell a damn bit of difference despite claiming that they can.
I paid $12 for my HDMI cables. They work just fine, thank you very much.
And if you think Monster is bad, you haven’t taken a look at Pear. As a point of interest, they refused to take James Randi’s challenge to prove that they’re quantitatively superior.
Just have to chime in. One of the worst ripoffs are on the HDMI cables. We use a lot of them and I refuse to pay more than $20 per cable. Even discount stores often have only the expensive cables. The thing with HDMI is they are digital. Either they do or don’t work. There is no signal to degrade.
I’ve never heard of any audiophile company that has volunteered to enter an A/B or James Randi-type experiment, although I bet there are some, and certainly the kinds of equipment (including cables) used by professionals in, for example, recording studios, tend to have all sorts of verifiable data out there.
To play devil’s advocate, though, Monster does seem to make some physically robust things – it’s probably worth it to some people for the touch-and-feel element.
Lots of bad rap about their sue-happy company, retarded claims about sound “quality” (?), and big-ass price makes them an easy target, though.
(For disclosure purposes, I personally use whatever cheap cables, albeit in fairly large gauge, I happen to find for my live keyboards and stereo/computer/TV stuff, including some I made about ten years ago from bulk Belden cable which still work just fine). I think of cables/interconnects as basically disposable and am pleased when they last more than a few years.
Ironically, Randi could probably have sued Blake for slander (or maybe libel, depending on whether Blake wrote it down). Legally speaking, Randi can not only afford to pay but would be legally obligated to if Blake actually took the challenge and won (it would definitely qualify as an open-ended offer).
Of course it’s ridiculous – I don’t even think the durability argument holds for the inside-the-walls argument. It’s pretty doubtful that Monster makes more durable product than any number of industrial or commercial products (cf. the Belden or similar bog-standard stuff used by professionals in the “music industry”). But I think it’s clear that impression of quality trumps reality for most consumers, especially those without the time or interest to explore more serious options.
I’ve never heard that they make actually bad cable, though – I think the reasons for eschewing their brand would more commonly be dislike of business practice, general principle of disliking the “woo-woo,” and all the other stuff associated with the company (and it goes without saying all of the more esoteric audiophile stuff – I wouldn’t consider Monster really an audiophile company, compared with some of the ridiculous stuff out there [directional AC cables, etc]). I certainly wouldn’t turn down some free cable from Monster, though, and I could see why people who don’t necessarily need to hold onto their greenbacks would pull the trigger. Their customers are probably pretty regular square apples who just don’t care that much about blowing an extra double-sawbuck or two on the odd cable for their system.
Google fails me, but I remember not too long ago reading about a new sound quality enhancement gadget that was basically just a box you put near a speaker that was supposed to generate some sort of ‘field’ to ‘clear’ the audio signals/prevent interference/reverse the polarity of the neutron flow. I think it was called something like simply ‘The Cube’ or ‘The Box’ or something like that, came in sleek, simple black design, and cost somewhere around a thousand bucks.
True, though Blake’s assertion that Randi’s offer was a hoax came from what could only be called the lamest, most transparent attempt at misdirection ever, since he took Randi’s original JREF paranormal challenge rules and applied them – in writing, in his public response to the challenge – to Randi’s Pear Cable challenge.
No one ever took Randi up on the challenge – but I chalk that up to the fact that in order to do so, one would have to spend $7,250 on a cable first, and then decisively identify the Pear cables in a double-blind test that, deep down, I think even the most hardcore audiophiles know they’d lose.
I remember something about that yes, I’m certain I saw it on Engadget some time back, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called or any good keywords to use to search for it. But it sounded like utter bunk.
I’m one of the dumb people who bought an expensive cable.
I bought my husband a Blu-ray player for Christmas at Best Buy (I know, I know). The guy told me I needed a cable, so I bought a cable. It was $50.00. Apparently, you can get them at Wal-Mart for $15.00.
We wanted to watch a movie, so we used the cable. I suppose I could have returned it and gone and gotten a cheaper one, but it didn’t seem worth the bother at that point.
I was in a music store the other day, and watched a young kid’s mom plop down $40 for a ten foot cable to match her son’s $1200 Christmas guitar. Curious, I walked over to where the keep the Monster cables, and gave one the eye. For forty bucks, Monster could at least make sure that the little decals that say ‘Monster’ are on straight, and don’t have an end sticking up where you’ll want to pick at it.
Are you sure you’re not thinking about the gag site Machina Dynamica? They sell the Clever Little Clock, which promises to improve not only audio but video simply by being in the room.
Personally, my favorite product of theirs is the Brilliant Pebbles. Why, simply by taping a bag of these miraculous pebbles to your cables, you can resolve “specific resonance control and RFI/EMI absorption problems associated with audio electronics, speakers and cables, as well as acoustic wave problems associated with the listening room boundaries and the 3-dimensional space within the boundaries.” A steal at $39-159 per bag!